Middle East

A long two years: key moments in Egyptian uprising and unrest

Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

CAIRO: Key events from more than two years of turmoil and transition:Jan. 25-Feb. 11, 2011 – Egyptians stage nationwide demonstrations against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. Hundreds of protesters are killed as Mubarak and his allies try to crush the uprising.

Feb. 11 – Mubarak steps down and turns power over to the military. The military dissolves Parliament and suspends the constitution, meeting two key demands of protesters.

March 19 – In the first post-Mubarak vote, Egyptians cast ballots on constitutional amendments sponsored by the military. The measures are overwhelmingly approved.

Oct. 9 – Troops crush a protest by Christians in Cairo over a church attack, killing more than 25 protesters.

Nov. 28, 2011-Feb. 15, 2012 – Egypt holds multistage, weekslong parliamentary elections. In the lawmaking lower house, the Muslim Brotherhood wins nearly half the seats, and ultraconservative Salafis take another quarter. The remainder goes to liberal, independent and secular politicians. In the largely powerless upper house, Islamists take nearly 90 percent of the seats.

May 23-24, 2012 – The first round of voting in presidential elections has a field of 13 candidates. Mursi and Ahmad Shafiq, the last prime minister under Mubarak, emerge as the top two finishers, to face each other in a runoff.

June 14 – The Supreme Constitutional Court orders the dissolving of the lower house of parliament.

June 16-17 – Egyptians vote in the presidential runoff between Mursi and Shafiq. Mursi wins with 51.7 percent of the vote.

June 30 – Mursi takes oath of office.

Aug. 12 – Mursi orders the retirement of the top Mubarak-era leadership of the military.

Nov. 19 – Members of liberal parties and representatives of Egypt’s churches withdraw from the 100-member assembly writing the constitution, protesting attempts by Islamists to impose their will.

Nov. 22 – Mursi unilaterally decrees greater powers for himself, giving his decisions immunity from judicial review and barring the courts from dissolving the constituent assembly and the upper house of Parliament. The move sparks days of protests.

Nov. 30 – Islamists in the constituent assembly rush to complete the draft of the constitution. Mursi sets a Dec. 15 date for a referendum.

Dec. 4 – More than 100,000 protesters march on the presidential palace, demanding the cancellation of the referendum and the writing of a new constitution. The next day, Islamists attack an anti-Mursi sit-in, sparking street battles that leave at least 10 dead.

Dec. 15, Dec. 22 – In the two-round referendum, Egyptians approve the constitution, with 63.8 percent voting in favor. Turnout is low.

Dec. 29 – The Egyptian Central Bank announces that foreign reserves – drained to $15 billion from $36 billion in 2010 – have fallen to a “critical minimum” and tries to stop a sharp slide in the value of the Egyptian pound.

Jan. 25, 2013 – Hundreds of thousands hold protests against Mursi on the 2-year anniversary of the start of the revolt against Mubarak, and clashes erupt in many places.

February-March – Protests rage in Port Said and other cities for weeks, with dozens dying in clashes.

April 7 – A Muslim mob attacks the main cathedral of the Coptic Orthodox Church as Christians hold a funeral and protest there over four Christians killed in sectarian violence the day before. Pope Tawadros II publicly blames Mursi for failing to protect the building.

May 7 – Mursi reshuffles his Cabinet. Officials say the changes aim to finalize long-stalled negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for a crucial $4.8 billion loan, which requires reductions to fuel and food subsidies. A deal on the loan has still not been reached.

June 23 – A mob beats to death four Egyptian Shiites in a village on the outskirts of Cairo.

June 30 – Millions of Egyptians demonstrate, calling for Mursi to step down. Eight people are killed in clashes outside the Muslim Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters.

July 1 – Large-scale demonstrations continue, and Egypt’s military gives the president and the opposition 48 hours to resolve their disputes, or it will impose its own solution.

July 2 – Military officials disclose main details of the army’s plan if no agreement is reached: replacing Mursi with an interim administration, canceling the Islamist-based constitution and calling elections in a year. Mursi delivers a late-night speech in which he pledges to defend his legitimacy and vows not to step down.

July 3 – Deadline for Mursi and opponents to come to agreement passes, Mursi standing firm. The military chief met with opposition and religious leaders and sent soldiers to the state TV’s newsroom in what were seen as first steps toward taking power.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 04, 2013, on page 8.

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